My biggest achievement – Sean Dyche ‘super proud’ as Everton secure survival

Everton manager Sean Dyche rates overseeing the club’s escape from relegation as his greatest achievement.

Idrissa Gueye’s 60th-minute strike was enough to beat Brentford 1-0 and secure a 71st successive top-flight season and a record 122nd overall, with victory putting them 11 points clear of 18th-placed Luton after three wins in a week.

Dyche said to achieve safety with three matches remaining, having only survived on the final day a year ago, against a backdrop of having eight points deducted for profitability and sustainability breaches should not be under-estimated.

“It feels very good, coming out of all the knocks we have had,” he said.

“We have relied on no-one but ourselves. No-one outside the club and the fans, we have not been given anything, no easy ride and I’m super proud.

“It is my biggest one (achievement), to lead a group from where it was to where it is. It’s different to last season, which was tough enough, but this season has been incredibly tough.”

Dyche took over in January last year with the club embroiled in a second successive relegation battle, in which they just managed to get over the line.

But he admits the expectations he had when he took over have had to be tempered massively in the intervening period.

“The knocks kept coming. This job isn’t what it was when it got pitched to me and I’ve had to focus and refocus… ‘This is the new job in hand’. I’ve tried to manage it,” he added.

“There is a long way to go for this club to get back to where it should be. The difference of thinking where this club is and getting there is a huge difference.

“Modern football is not run on perception, it is run on facts. The eight points is the biggest thing.

“You are not going to cry when it happens, but what it does is changes the mentality. We were actually doing really well, then we get six and then another two.

“Now imagine they are not there – trust me we wouldn’t have had a run of 13 (league matches) without a win.

“Everton has become an easy story, the whipping boys of the Premier League. Now we are beginning to change it. Let someone else have the negativity.”

Brentford boss Thomas Frank, whose side have won just two of their last 12 matches, said he found the game “a little bit boring”.

“I don’t like losing. It was an average game, not many chances, probably a 0-0 game. It’s a little irritating to me,” he said.